As summer draws to a close, it’s always enjoyable for me to look back over the summer as a whole. During Sing Song we sing the song Summer written by my father, and one line that relates to looking back over the summer says, “How days looked to are now the past, and how good it is that memories last.” For the past few years, I’ve tried to encapsulate that by writing a summer recap to our parents and alumni. So here’s a recap on summer camp 2015.
The question that I always want answered first at the end of each summer is, “How was the summer for our campers?”. This is where it all starts and ends for us, and knowing what went well, and especially not so well, helps us to make each summer better than the one before. First I want to say thank you to the 105 Huawni Families who completed their end-of-session surveys. Based upon this feedback, campers rated their camp experience a 6.48 out of 7, with 7 being extremely satisfied. When asked ”Overall, how satisfied were you with your camper’s counselors this session?” families rated their counselors at a 6.43 out of 7, with 7 being extremely satisfied. In addition, 85% of families said they’d be back at Camp Huawni next summer.
Here’s some direct feedback from our 2015 Huawni Families.
He seems to really be embracing the traditions and his friends who have come year after year. He has fun and he says he likes that there are no rules. LOL! Good job on making them feel like there are no rules.
Our son came home happy and content. He doesn’t have to have some electronic device to keep him amused, he can go and play, something that is very important for all [our] children.
[My children] seem more authentic [after camp]. I don’t know how else really to describe it.
Our daughter came back and almost seemed older. The time with girls her age away from us really did a lot for her. We see the difference.
Our children say that Huawni is the one place other than home that they can be their 100% selves 100% of the time. As parents, we can tell it is true…pure acceptance, no judgement, and friendships with kids they might not otherwise get to know in a different environment.
All of the feedback our families gave was both encouraging and helpful. So what went well?
#Camper to counselor ratio was a big help in campers’ experience
#Homesick cases were handled really well
#Shorter closing ceremony
#Smooth camper pick up & drop off
A huge part of what makes Huawni special is the intimate family feel. One of the big reasons for this is the camper to counselor ratio. We aim each year to have a 3:1 camper to counselor ratio. This year we did not quite hit our number, but we also felt that the quality of staff was extremely superb.
In all 4 sessions we maintained below a 4 to 1 or camper to counselor ratio. We derive this number by taking the total amount of campers in a session and dividing it by the total number of cabin counselors. We do not include interns and/or leadership who do not stay in the cabin. In addition, camper to counselor ratios ranged between 1.8 and 5.3 when breaking the numbers up into Boys Camp and Girls Camp. Boys Camp during Session 1 had the highest ratio of the summer (5.3 to 1), while Girls Camp during Session 4 (1.8 to 1 camper to counselor ratio) was the lowest ratio. Based upon feedback, we once again were able to give kids the undivided time and access they needed to a lot of cabin counselors. Here’s a closer look at the exact ratios by session.
| Session | Campers | Staff | Camper to Counselor Ratio | | Session 1 | 149 | 42 | 3.5 | | Session 2 | 149 | 39 | 3.8 | | Session 3 | 148 | 38 | 3.9 | | Session 4 | 72 | 31 | 2.3 |
Our session highlight videos are probably the best reminder of just how special our summer was. Here is a look back at each session!
As great as this summer was, there are always things we can get better at. Again, thank you for sharing honest feedback with us in our session ending surveys. Here’s a quick look at things that didn’t go so well and that we need to improve.
#More parent/cabin counselor interaction on Opening & Closing Day
#More/better hot water in bathhouses
#Colder drinking water and more water monster stations
#More diligent with sunscreen/bug spray application
#Better trunk delivery on Opening/Closing Day
#Better food choices
#Nicer & cleaner bathhouses
We are now entering a new season of camp and there are plenty of exciting projects ahead. Our first priority is to make sure our returning campers are enrolled for our Returning Camper Discount (RCD). This is our biggest and best discount, only available to families who attended Camp in 2015. As of today, 317 campers have already signed up for the RCD discount. The first deadline is August 15, 2016, which is the deadline to be guaranteed your session of choice. Starting August 16, 2016 returning campers are allowed to switch to a different session. The second deadline to save up to $500 per session is September 15, 2015. So be sure and enroll online if you haven’t already. You must enroll online by September 15th to receive this discount.
Starting September 16th, we’ll open up enrollment for first-time campers. We’ll offer our New Camper Discount (NCD) from September 16th to October 15th to all first-time campers. Why should new campers sign up early? Here’s a link to 5 important reasons that we encourage new families to sign up now
Here’s what is going on at Camp in August.
#Watering and re-seeding all of campus with bermuda grass
#Getting counselors on board for Summer 2017
#Preparing camp packets for new families look at Huawni for the first time
#Updating all the processes and systems that make camp work
#Preparing for our Full-Time Staff Annual Retreat where we plan for 2017!
Thank you again for entrusting your children with us. Our desire is to see them and our staff leave our gates knowing their true significance and purpose. Based upon a handful of stories that you have shared with us, that is happening and we are so grateful to be a part of it!
Travis & Mandi